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25th March, 2019

Bed-In for Peace: Celebrating 50 years

The Beatles Story unveils new memorabilia from John and Yoko's Bed-In for peace, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the famous protest.

A letter regarding expenses incurred by John Lennon during the Amsterdam Bed-In is now on display in our exhibition. This was the first of two Bed-Ins, coined by John and Yoko after deciding to use the publicity from their marriage on 20th March 1969 to promote world peace. They spent their honeymoon in the presidential suite at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel for a week between 25th and 31st March.

The letter, sent by L.G. Wood at EMI, London to Mr G.M. Oord at Bovema, Holland directs that all expenses incurred by Lennon be sent to ABKCO Industries Inc., New York for the attention of Allen Klein.

 

During the week-long Bed-In, Lennon and Ono invited the world's press into their hotel room every day between 9am and 9pm where the couple sat in bed, wearing pyjamas, talking about peace with handmade signs above their bed reading ‘Hair Peace’ and ‘Bed Peace’.

"They fought their way in, and their faces dropped." John Lennon once said on the event, "There we were like two angels in bed, with flowers all around us, and peace and love on our heads."

 

 

In addition to the EMI Expenses Letter, an exciting selection of images taken from original negatives from the Montreal Bed-In are now on display at The Beatles Story. This second week long Bed-In for peace took place at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada between 26th May and 2nd June. The photographer was only 15 years old when he took the images.

 

It was during the Montreal Bed-In on 1st June that the famous peace anthem ‘Give Peace a Chance’ was created. Recorded by André Perry in the hotel room, Lennon invited Timothy Leary, Tommy Smothers, Dick Gregory, Murray the K, Al Capp, Allen Ginsberg and others to sing with himself and Ono on the record.

Both Bed-Ins gained instant worldwide media coverage and Lennon and Ono spoke to around 150 journalists each day. In the United States, around 350 radio stations reported the event, carrying the couple's message of peace and protests against the Vietnam War.

 

 

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 'Bed-In For Peace' Beatles fans from around the globe are invited to stage their own 'Bed-In' events at home or elsewhere, and share their photographs on social media using the hashtag #GivePeaceAChance. 'Bed Peace' and 'Hair Peace' signs can be downloaded here.

In addition to being on display in our exhibition, prints of the photographs taken at the Montreal Bed-In will be available to purchase exclusively from our Fab4 Store based on the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool.

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